Last updated: 22nd February 2012

Welcome to the second news letter of 2012. This is the year in which the Forum builds on our launch last May and the work of the voluntary task groups over the past four months.

It will be a busy year. By November, we aim:

• to have involved residents and associate members in discussing and agreeing a draft plan
• to secure the go-ahead from an independent inspector
• to publicise the draft plan to voters in the ward and ask them to say ‘yes’ in a referendum

As the programme develops, the website will carry updates and information:

ESJF has a postal address – c/o St Sidwell’s Community Centre

With ward-wide consultation and those members who do not use emails in mind, we are grateful to St Sidwell’s Community Centre for offering the Forum a postal address.

To write to us: Exeter St James Forum
c/o St Sidwell’s Community Centre
Sidwell Street
Exeter EX4 6NN

Or, by email:

New associate members

St Sidwell’s Community Centre – find out more about the Centre, a multicultural asset used by local groups and organisations:

Exeter City Supporters’ Trust and Exeter City AFC:
The Club and Supporters’ Trust are active in and around Exeter with community projects. We look forward to discussing their long term development plans with them. The future of the Club in St James has both planning and social implications for the neighbourhood.

Hikmat – a social inclusion charity for black and ethnic minorities

Join us
We welcome more members (people who live in the ward) and associates (people who work in the ward or have a stake in its future). Contact us to join:
Drafting the neighbourhood plan

The task groups have done a great job in collecting the evidence on which to base proposals and policies for the neighbourhood plan.

The Steering Group has set up a working group to review the evidence and start work on the draft plan. To assist with the writing and layout of the report, it was agreed to appoint an external consultant.

We will be looking for someone with planning and drafting experience, someone who knows Exeter well. If you know someone who would be interested in this short term project, ask them to email Jo Hawkins through the ESJF contact address.

Advance notice for the diary

Tuesday 17 April, evening, St Sidwell’s Primary School
A discussion workshop for members and associate members: Draft neighbourhood plan – work in progress

Saturday 9 June, afternoon, St Sidwell’s Primary School
First AGM; and an open community event

Calling notice for the AGM will follow in May. The present officers of ESJF are interim appointments. The AGM will be the first opportunity to elect officeholders. If you are interested in standing, come to a Steering Group meeting to find out more about the work of the Forum.

What’s happening with Localism and government regulations?

When details on neighbourhood planning in the Localism Plan are published, expected to be in April, we and Exeter City Council officers will have a better idea of the procedures, timetable and costs.

To remind, ESJF through ECC was granted government funding as a Front Runner or pilot project. The costs of external assistance, an independent examination and the referendum are expected to be covered by the grant.

Getting involved in environmental projects

ESJF was the community partner in a project team which made two bids for Department of Energy & Climate Change LEAF grant (local energy assessment fund). Unfortunately, the bids were unsuccessful. If DECC announces another bid round, we will have another go.

ESJF has been invited by the University of Exeter’s biodiversity Birds and Bees Committee to join in a bid for SITA Landfill Trust funding for enhancement of the waterways in Lower Hoopern Valley. The Steering Group has agreed in principle and we look forward to discussing proposals for this and other environmental projects with the University.


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